Ancient 'massacre' unearthed near Lake Turkana, Kenya, by Cambridge University Researchers

22 January 2016

Archaeologists say they have unearthed the earliest evidence of warfare between hunter-gatherers to be scientifically dated, at a remote site in northern Kenya.
The 10,000-year-old remains of 27 people found west of Lake Turkana show that they met violent deaths. They were left to die there rather than being buried.

Many experts have argued that conflict only came about as humans became more settled. These people, by contrast, were apparently nomadic hunter-gatherers.

The archaeologists, who have been working on the site at Nataruk since 2012, discovered that the victims were clubbed or stabbed to death in a single event. The dead included male and female adults, as well as children. The evidence, published in the journal Nature, does not reveal exactly what happened but the fact that so many people died at the same time suggests it was the result of "some sort of conflict", according to Cambridge University Professor Robert Foley.

Why this is significant - Marta Mirazon Lahr, lead researcher:
Nataruk records what is, for now, the oldest scientifically-dated case of conflict between two nomadic hunter-gatherer groups. Nevertheless, its significance is not its age, but the fact that it involved these groups, who had few possessions to fight over.

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